Major automakers have agreed to install automatic braking systems as standard equipment in nearly all of their vehicles by 2022. These systems help drivers avoid crashes and are essential in self-driving cars.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced in September that 10 major automakers had agreed in principle to eventually add the feature as standard fare to their vehicles. NHTSA insists that the emergency braking systems can prevent thousands of crashes a year and that these systems would be most effective if they were installed as standard equipment instead of as an option, or with availability only on expensive vehicles.
Automatic braking systems are designed to prevent crashes by applying more brake pressure than the driver can. NHTSA said the industry is entering an era of vehicle safety focused on preventing crashes from occurring rather than only protecting occupants when crashes happen. These systems have been increasingly available on vehicles in recent years.
The agreement, announced by NHTSA and the automakers in Washington, D.C., covers more than 99 percent of U.S. light cars, trucks and sport utilities. The automakers volunteering to add the standard automatic braking systems are Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.